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One million customers exit banks

by Stacey Moseley9 minute read
The Adviser

Australians have proven they aren’t afraid to walk away from the banks, with new research showing more than a million people have stopped dealing with a financial institution in the past 12 months.

According to Roy Morgan Research, 855,000 people ended a relationship with a bank; 18,000 people stopped dealing with a building society, while 65,000 stopped dealing with a credit union; and 140,000 ended a relationship with some other financial institution.

According to the survey, ANZ lost the highest proportion of customers of the majors, at four per cent, while CBA had the most individuals walk from the lender, with 192,000 people leaving the bank.

NAB had the lowest proportion of lost customers among the major four banks, with 2.3 per cent or 70,000.

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Among the smaller banks, 5.6 per cent of Bankwest’s customers stopped dealing with them, followed by 5.2 per cent for ING Direct, 3.8 per cent of St George customers and 2.9 per cent of Bendigo Bank customers.

Speaking with The Adviser, Norman Morris from Roy Morgan said the research company had surveyed over 50,000 individuals for the study, which is ongoing.

Mr Morris also said the results show how fickle today’s consumers are when it comes to their choice of bank.

“At a time when people are continuing to find it easier to swap financial institutions, many of the banks are placing a strong focus on customer retention and are keen to increase the value of the relationship,” he said.

“It would be helpful for the banks to look at which financial institutions their lost customers are now choosing to deal with and gain an understanding of the reasons behind their choice.

“For instance, our research shows the key reasons why people switched their main financial institution include high fees and charges, poor service and poor interest rates.”

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